This is the eighth in a series of notes and impressions about the new stallions in Kentucky for 2009. The horses will be reviewed alphabetically.
Henrythenavigator (2005 bay by Kingmambo out of Sequoyah, by Sadler’s Wells)
Stands at Ashford Stud for $65,000 live foal
A multiple classic winner last year and a top-class racehorse, Henrythenavigator is one of the premium new stallions for 2009. But if you stood him side by side with Ashford’s other new horse, Majestic Warrior, and asked breeders to pick which they wanted without knowing their identities, I would expect about 80 percent would take the A.P. Indy stallion Majestic Warrior.
For one thing, Majestic Warrior is that good looking. He is a big, scopy, grand beast, but he never saw the day he outrun Henrythenavigator.
And the more I watched Henrythenavigator, the more I liked him. His walk is especially fluid and covers a deceptive amount of ground. He has a confident eye and good, honest expression, which confirm the evidence of his racing record as an outstanding performer at an exceptionally high level.
His length of body is pleasing, and his quality is very high. As an individual, he reminds me both of his sire, Kingmambo, and of the Northern Dancer horse Nureyev, the broodmare sire of Kingmambo.
A medium-sized horse who is a bit bigger than his famous ancestor Northern Dancer (to whom he is inbred), Henrythenavigator has all the tools to become an important stallion. He has the performance, the pedigree, and the mind of a champion. He seems to have been blessed with some of the calmer traits of his family — which has some peppery characters like Nureyev — and that should be an added benefit for his potential as a sire.
Standing about 15.3 hands, Henrythenavigator has a smooth design with a small star on his forehead and white on his right hind pastern. His forelegs are not perfect, but then they don’t have to be, he actually had ability. And as we all know, it’s the rare “perfect” horse who can get out of his own way.
Although cast in a typier mold than some new stallions this year, Henrythenavigator has a very good width of chest and a surprisingly deep 75 inch girth. He has nearly perfect leverage behind to give him a good cruising speed and then make a burst for home, which allowed him to win four times at G1 level and bring home three more seconds.